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To the Editor: Schools Safer with Trained Staff

by Joe Eaton

3:29PM Wednesday, October 11 2017

The following letter to the Columbus Dispatch editor was published in response to a Dispatch "news" article entitled "Why does nothing ever change after mass shootings?"

I respond to the Oct. 3 article “Why does nothing ever change after mass shootings?” If the definition of “nothing” is simply repeating the same pathetic sound bites about “rapid-fire weapons” or “hidden loaded guns” or “the NRA is evil” or “universal this” or “restrict that,” then I would agree. But much more than sound bites can and has happened right here in Ohio to protect our schools and the public in general.

Changes to make Ohio’s schoolchildren safer started shortly after the horrific murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in late December 2012 with these simple words spoken at a town-hall meeting by Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s Ken Hanson: “We are done talking, we are going to put armed teachers in schools.”

In spring 2013, the first class of 24 school teachers, administrators, custodians, coaches, lunch ladies and bus drivers received 3½ days of firearms, emergency and crisis-management and trauma medical-care training and returned to their schools armed, trained, prepared and more determined than ever to make certain their schools were as safe as possible.

Since this first pilot class, the FASTER Saves Lives program has provided training to more than 1,000 school staff members from more than 200 school districts in 12 states.

This is a better definition of “nothing.”

Joe Eaton
Program Director, FASTER Saves Lives

Buckeye Firearms Foundation (501c3) president Jim Irvine introduces the Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) Program

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